24 November 2011

Movies: TrollHunter

TrollHunter (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1740707/

Fantasy / Horror (comedy) from Norway

Three college student filmmakers are trying to track down a suspected bear poacher that seems to be present wherever licenses for bear hunting have been issued. They are making a documentary about the licensed bear hunters vs. poachers and are trying to score an interview with him. However they soon find his methods and equipment a little bit unconventional for hunting bears.  As you can guess from the title, they discover he isn't hunting bears.

Yep, a Norwegian film. Complete with subtitles.  Filmed in the cinema vérité style you'll remember from "The Blair Witch Project" or "Cloverfield". From the beginning the film reminded me plenty of "Blair Witch" as it starts with a message stating the whole of the footage making up the film was mailed anonymously and the resulting film comes from cutting the footage together in sequential order, nobody knows what happened to the film makers, stuff like that.  Plus it has a trio of young film makers stomping about through the forest, running through the forest, shaky camera work pointing every which way half the time, although the camera is surprisingly steady for most of the troll sightings.  Very low-budget feel.  As for scripting - if the dialog was unscripted the cast did well, if the dialog is scripted it had a good 'unscripted' feel to it. Perhaps it was a mixture of scripting and improv. It does help to have some knowledge or awareness of Norse mythology and folklore to understand some of the subtle joke references in the dialog and events.  On the plus side, if you've read any Tolkien you're probably prepared enough.

On the plus-side, the scenery and locations are amazing. Norway has some great mountain and forest areas. The CGI trolls are integrated into the environments well for the most part.  The 'night vision' scenes seemed more like 'tinted green' for effect footage.
The film does have its humorous moments, apparently the main "Troll Hunter" dude is a well known (in Norway) comic actor. He deadpans his performance well, which adds to the humor. Trying not to be spoil-ey, but the bit where the troll hunter puts on this crazy hodgepodge 'suit of armor' and approaches a troll to get a blood sample was particularly funny.

There's a couple of events in the film I wondered, "really? would people actually act that way after that?" But no matter. I think that once I was in a "Blair Witch" mindset I just let things slide. Which would probably be the best way to view the film. Sit back and don't think too much.  I can't say more without spoiling the film.

All in all, it was an amusing diversion of a film. I didn't feel my time was wasted, it was entertaining enough. Just be prepared for a bit of reading of subtitles.

Supposedly there's an American version of the film in development. I'm curious and terrified to see the result of that effort. Curious to see what they come up with, terrified it'll completely lose the humor and fun this production contains and make some crappy CGI fest worthy of SyFy channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment